A new survey from the NCAA found that 58% of 18- to 22-year-olds have engaged in at least one sports betting activity and that betting is more prevalent (67%) among students living on a college campus.
Opinion Diagnostics conducted the online survey for the NCAA, polling 3,527 18- to 22-year-olds across the U.S. College sports have been embroiled in multiple recent sports betting scandals, one of which resulted in Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon being fired after several states halted gambling on Crimson Tide baseball games.
Earlier this month, the University of Iowa and Iowa State began investigating more than 40 student-athletes for potential NCAA violations related to sports wagering.
“We needed a new baseline so we can better understand what student-athletes are experiencing on their campuses and among their peers so we can best help them deal with the potentially disruptive dynamic of legal sports betting,” NCAA president Charlie Baker said in a statement. “Sports betting has increased interest in sports of all kinds, including college sports, which is great for our fans, but the NCAA and everyone from coaches to athletics department staff and college presidents must better understand what impact sports betting may have on student-athletes.”
The NCAA also says that “advertisements have a major influence on betting activity” with its study finding 63% of surveyed students recalled seeing betting ads on campuses, a higher rate than the general population outside of college campuses. 58% of college students said they were likelier to bet after seeing on-campus ads.
Some universities formed sponsorships with sports betting companies in recent years, but that trend appears likely to come to an end after the American Gaming Association updated its marketing code in March to prohibit “college partnerships that promote, market or advertise sports wagering activity,” and prohibit “sportsbook NIL deals for amateur and college athletes.”
The University of Colorado, the first U.S. college in 2020 to publicly partner with a sportsbook through its deal with PointsBet, ended that agreement in March. PointsBet’s similar marketing sponsorship with the University of Maryland was terminated in May.
The NCAA will conduct another national study this fall that will specifically survey student-athletes about their sports betting tendencies. That survey has been collected every four years by the NCAA since 2003.